contrary

contrary
contrary n antithesis, opposite, contradictory, antonym, antipode (see under OPPOSITE adj)
Analogous words: *converse, reverse
contrary adj
1 antithetical, *opposite, contradictory, antonymous, antipodal, antipodean
Analogous words: divergent, disparate, *different: counter, antagonistic, *adverse: negating, nullifying (see NULLIFY)
2 Contrary, perverse, restive, balky, froward, wayward are comparable when they mean given to opposing or resisting wishes, commands, conditions, or circumstances.
A person is contrary who by nature or disposition is so self-willed that he cannot or will not accept dictation or advice
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she is the most contrary child I have ever seen

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or who vigorously objects to any arrangements or plans made by others
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they've been in your way all these years, and you've always complained of them, so don't be contrary, sir— Cather

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A person or sometimes one of his acts, utterances, or desires is perverse when he or it as a result of temperament or disposition, or sometimes of physical constitution or moral character, runs counter to what is right, true, correct, or in keeping with human nature, especially as determined by the moral law, by custom, or by the laws of nature or the state. Like contrary, the term may suggest obstinate willfulness, but even then it usually carries a stronger suggestion of wrongheadedness
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perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth—/ Tim 6:5

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they will not be resolute and firm, but perverse and obstinate— Burke

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More often, however, the term suggests defiance of or disobedience to the law, especially the moral law or the established proprieties
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Rimbaud was the rebel incarnate ... he was perverse, untractable, adamant—until the very last hour— Henry Miller

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the poet's sense of responsibility to nothing but his own inner voice is perhaps his only way of preserving poetic integrity against the influences of a perverse generation— Day Lewis

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Perverse sometimes suggests perversion or a sexual maladjustment that reveals itself in aberrant or abnormal desires or acts
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the presence of a small minority of abnormal or perverse persons . . . affords no excuse for restricting the liberty of the many to the standard of the few— Ellis

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the last perverse whim which has taken possession of the debauchee— Krutch

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A person is restive (see also IMPATIENT) who obstinately refuses to obey the commands or the will of another; the term may imply inaction or a turning in another direction but more often it suggests intractability or unruliness
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the common man ... is increasingly restive under the state of "things as they are"—Veblen

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your colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable— Burke

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A person or, more often, an animal (as a horse) is balky when he or it stops short and refuses to go further in the desired direction or in the performance of something undertaken
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the horse was never balky unless he was overloaded

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a child may become balky when he is confused by too many orders

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examination of witnesses, mostly reluctant if not downright balkyThe Nation

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A person (often a child) is froward who is so contrary or so prone to disobedience that he will not comply with the most reasonable of requests or suggestions; the term usually suggests a characteristic rather than an occasional or a justifiable reaction
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all the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them— Prov 8:8

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I never entered on disobedience without having settled with myself that the fun of it would be worth the pains, scorned repentance, and endured correction with a philosophy which got me the reputation of being a hardened and froward child— Mary Austin

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A person is wayward who is so perverse that he is incapable of government by those in authority over him and therefore goes his own way, however wanton, capricious, or depraved it may be
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an institution for wayward girls

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I have been wild and wayward, but you'll forgive me now— Tennyson

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Things that are erratic or follow no clear law or principle are also describable as wayward
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wayward fancies

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a wayward breeze

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Analogous words: refractory, recalcitrant, intractable, headstrong, *unruly: contumacious, rebellious, *insubordinate
Antonyms: good-natured, complaisant
Contrasted words: *amiable, obliging: *compliant, acquiescent: amenable, tractable (see OBEDIENT)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Contrary — Con tra*ry (? or ?; 48), a. [OE. contrarie, contraire, F. contraire, fr. L. contrarius, fr. contra. See {Contra }.] 1. Opposite; in an opposite direction; in opposition; adverse; as, contrary winds. [1913 Webster] And if ye walk contrary unto me …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrary — I adjective abnegative, adversative, adverse, adversus, answering, antagonistic to, antipathetic, antithetic, antithetical, at cross purposes, at issue, at variance, averse, captious, conflicting, confutative, confuting, contradicting,… …   Law dictionary

  • contrary — [kän′trer΄ē; ] for adj.4, often [ kən trer′ē] adj. [ME contrarie < OFr contraire < L contrarius, opposite, opposed < contra, against] 1. opposed; in opposition [contrary to the rules] 2. opposite in nature, order, direction, etc.;… …   English World dictionary

  • Contrary — may refer to: Contrary motion, in music theory Contrary Magazine, a literary journal founded at the University of Chicago Contrary (social role), in certain Amerindian cultures Contrary (comics), a character from Malibu Comics Ultraverse Little… …   Wikipedia

  • contrary — 1. The position of the main stress has fluctuated over the centuries, and the OED notes that poets from Chaucer to Spenser and Shakespeare placed it on both the first and the second syllable according to need. In current English, the stress is… …   Modern English usage

  • Contrary — Con tra*ry, n.; pl. {Contraries}. 1. A thing that is of contrary or opposite qualities. [1913 Webster] No contraries hold more antipathy Than I and such a knave. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. An opponent; an enemy. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 3. the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrary — mid 14c., from Anglo Fr. contrarie, from L. contrarius opposite, opposed, from contra against (see CONTRA (Cf. contra)). If we take the statement All men are mortal, its contrary is Not all men are mortal, its converse is All mortal beings are… …   Etymology dictionary

  • contrary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) opposite in nature, direction, or meaning. 2) (of two or more statements, beliefs, etc.) opposed to one another. 3) perversely inclined to do the opposite of what is expected or desired. ► NOUN (the contrary) ▪ the opposite. ● …   English terms dictionary

  • Contrary — Con tra*ry, v. t. [F. contrarier. See {Contrary}, a.] To contradict or oppose; to thwart. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I was advised not to contrary the king. Bp. Latimer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrary to — what we had predicted, the lemon potatoes were very popular Syn: in conflict with, against, at variance with, at odds with, in opposition to, counter to, incompatible with …   Thesaurus of popular words

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